Freedom of expression is a core human right which is guaranteed under international law and in virtually every constitutional bill of rights in the world. It is key to human development, dignity, personal fulfillment and the search for truth, and a fundamental pre-requisite for democracy and good governance.
It facilitates free debate about and between competing political parties, enables citizens to raise concerns with authorities and ensures that new policies and legislation may be the subject of careful scrutiny. The quality of government is enhanced by free speech because it helps to ensure that authorities are competent and honest and allows individuals to voice concerns about and debate government action.
Looked at from another perspective, democratic values and respect for all human rights are under threat when information and ideas are not permitted to flow freely.
IMS works to engage with local and international partners in media reform policy issues so as to address contexts where the legal environment restricts freedom of expression and media freedom. We do this in order to support local demands for an enabling legal environment which is conducive to the development of a free and diverse media and to promote compliance with internationally recognized standards.
The MENA Media Law Reform programme supports regional exchanges and dialogues that bring together legal experts, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, as well as international experts, to address and advocate for much needed media legal and regulatory reforms.